Janet Harris prepared for World Bank Post

Janet Harris

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 25, 2012 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Financial Secretary Janet Harris said she is prepared to take up the challenge that awaits her as an Alternate Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and 11 Caribbean countries at the World Bank.

Mrs. Harris leaves the Federation shortly to begin her new job on November 1, in Washington D.C., the capital of the United States of America and home to the World Bank. During an SKNIS interview, she explained the importance of holding such a post, given her background as a citizen of a small island developing nation.

“We have to be able to show that our education system, and the way that we are brought up, and the experiences that we gain – that we can use those to be just as significant and to make as big an impact as others who are from [larger countries],” she said. “And so it is important that when we go to these positions that we not take them lightly, and I’m not taking this lightly at all.”

According to the official website of the World Bank, Executive Directors “are responsible for the conduct of the general operations of the Bank. They consider – and decide on -grant, investment, guarantee and credit proposals made by the President, and they decide on strategic, policy and budgetary issues that guide the general operations of the Bank.” As the alternate, Mrs. Harris is expected to fully support the Executive Director.

“There is a misconception that once you rise and you reach to a certain position, that it doesn’t require hard work,” opined Mrs. Harris. “That is where persons go wrong because you [should not] want to aspire to a position [for] the grandeur and the glory and the fame and not do what it takes behind the scenes, behind the closed doors to be successful. At this level … there is work that needs to be done. I don’t want to just go there and on a piece of paper it says Janet Harris passed through … It is important that I go and apply myself, get to understand the background, get to understand what’s going on and hit the ground running and do what needs to be done.”

The outgoing Financial Secretary stressed that she was honoured to be nominated to fill this position at the World Bank. She urged persons listening to continue to follow their dreams.

“Don’t give up. Never give up on your dream,” she stressed. “Maybe you have to take a different route, maybe you have to look at certain things in your life that you have to change because there is a saying that goes if you are doing the same thing over and over and you’re getting the same results then it would be foolish to continue. Sit back and examine what you are doing. Ask for advice. Not from your peers necessarily, but from persons who you see have been successful and can give advice.”

Mrs. Harris urged persons to “have faith, understand that you are here for a purpose. … and pursue [your goals], persevere, work hard. Don’t choose the shortcuts and the easy way out because when you go through situations, these situations are to make you stronger to move you on to a different level.”

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